Jack Ohman gives us a sneak preview of The Anthony Scaramucci Show. Watch the pilot here.
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Will Republicans put country or Trump first? A veto-proof majority for a Russia sanctions bill before the House on Tuesday would draw a line for potential constitutional crises to come. Republicans may be called upon again to stand up to the president if he tries to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, or pardon aides or even himself in the Russia investigation.
Erika D. Smith: Paying black people reparations for the war on drugs? Not as crazy as it sounds: People of color who went to prison for selling marijuana are on the verge of being cut out of California’s legal industry.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Ben Allen and Jose Medina: A new vision for California community college confronts their challenges and shortcomings. It takes too long for many students to earn a certificate or a degree, or to transfer to a UC or CSU campus. Achievement gaps that fall along race, ethnicity, age and region persist at unacceptable rates.
Sage Hider and Kate Renwick-Espinosa: Early detection of diabetes makes an enormous difference, yet many people won’t get crucial eye examinations if they know they can’t afford new glasses. That’s why the California Optometric Association and VSP pushed to restore benefits for eyeglasses and vision aids for Medi-Cal recipients in this year’s state budget.
Take a number: 12.5 percent
It has been eight years since the federal minimum wage was raised, from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. Because of inflation, the buying power of that wage has declined by 12.5 percent, the Economic Policy Institute reported Monday. If the minimum wage had kept pace with wages for average U.S. workers, it would be $11.62, the institute says. In an earlier study, the institute computed that 2.4 million workers in the 10 biggest states are losing $8 billion a year because they’re not getting the minimum wage they’re owed. California workers are somewhat more fortunate. The state minimum wage will likely increase as scheduled on Jan. 1 from $10.50 to $11 an hour because built-in fail-safes in case of an economic downturn won’t be triggered. It is to eventually rise to $15 by 2022. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Deaths in San Antonio
San Antonio Express: The discovery of dead and dying migrants in a hot tractor-trailer in a Wal-Mart parking lot in San Antonio early Sunday is a gruesome demonstration of the desperation that causes people to risk their lives to get to this country. But it also puts in stark perspective the need to enact the kind of comprehensive immigration reform that would make such risk-taking less prevalent.
Dallas Morning News: The horrific death of at least 10 immigrants sneaking across Texas this weekend in the back of a tractor-trailer rig with no air-conditioning is a tragic reminder of the lengths people will go to in pursuit of a better life.
Fort Worth Star Telegram: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was quick to assert on Facebook that “sanctuary cities entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law.” Sunday’s “tragedy is why I made passing Senate Bill 4 to ban sanctuary cities — which is now law — a top priority,” he wrote. We believe aligning this tragedy with SB4 is inappropriate.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Smugglers have used truck trailers for years. The worst case happened not too far from this weekend’s tragedy, in 2003, when 19 people being smuggled in south Texas died from heat-related injuries. Does society shrug these stories off or does it draw a line? A death on this side of the border is still a death.
Raleigh News & Observer: Most states, even those of the deepest red, learned from the monumental mistake of North Carolina’s Republicans, who passed the now-infamous House Bill 2 transgender bathroom bill, which flew by many descriptions. Ah, but in Texas, pardners, the HB2 lesson has gone unlearned, as Republicans in the Texas Legislature prove themselves to be – using a Lone Star expression – “all hat and no cattle.”
East Bay Times: An insidious bill concocted by public employee labor unions would undermine the ability of California counties to provide services for the state’s neediest residents. The bill presents one of the biggest threats to local government finances since state lawmakers nearly two decades ago opened the door to unaffordable pension increases that have buried cities and counties in debt.
L.A. Times: After years of failed efforts, the California Legislature may finally pass a bill that responds to the problem of rising prescription drug costs. But temper your enthusiasm: Though this measure (SB 17) has been fiercely resisted by the pharmaceutical industry, it wouldn’t actually stop manufacturers from raising their prices as high as they think the market will bear.
Orange County Register: By just about any measure, the Transportation Security Administration has been a failure. A recent undercover test provides even further evidence of this, as if any were needed.
The Mercury News: Conservative South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sharp wit and straight talk have made him a breath of fresh air among Republican Party leaders in Washington who lack the first quality and, since Donald Trump’s election, seem unable to pull off the second. We don’t always agree with Graham. But on the Dream Act – providing a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought here as children and have embraced the American dream – he is our hero.
Charles M. Blow: Nothing about this White House communications department was ever about communicating. On the contrary, it has always been about deception, concealment and equivocation. Informing the public was never the mission. Flattering Trump was the mission.
Michael Gerson: The White House communications staff change is probably a good thing for the president. It also reveals a complete blindness about the true source of his administration’s current struggles.
Paul Krugman: House leaders pulled their bill, and the debate seemed over. But then media attention moved on to presidential tweets and other outrages – and with the spotlight off, House leaders bullied and bribed enough holdouts to narrowly pass a bill after all. Could something similar happen in the Senate?
Eugene Robinson: I’m still waiting to hear the “bold solutions” that Democrats promise. I can think of one possibility: Why not propose some version of truly universal single-payer health care?
” ... all that separates us from homeless people is a few bad decisions or a mental illness.” – Jacob Nelson, Carmichael
Tweet of the day
“Who the hell wants to talk about a leader who asks 'who the hell' to a bunch of 12-year-olds who pledge to be kind, reverent, courteous etc.?” – Larry Parsons, @LParsons69